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The Water Gift and the Pig of the Pig

by Jacqueline Briggs Martin
Illustrated by Linda S. Wingerter

Published by Houghton Mifflin, 2003
32 pages
ISBN: 0-618-07436-8

Ages 5 - 8

Isabel's grandfather is a water man. Captain of a schooner as a young man, he no longer travels the seas but entertains Isabel with sailing stories that form the foundation of much of her imaginative play. Her grandfather is also a dowser. He can find water beneath the ground with only a forked stick and concentration. But after one of his water predictions results in a well with sour water, he loses confidence and grows more and more withdrawn as a result. Isabel and her pet pig-descended from the pig who accompanied her grandfather when he was young around Cape Horn-miss his company and his stories. Isabel has no luck coaxing her grandfather out of his sadness until she calls on him out of necessity. Her pig is lost, and their crotchety neighbor would just love to turn him into bacon if he finds him first. And so it is that her grandfather, with Isabel by his side, tries dowsing one more time--this time in search of the Pig of the Pig That Went Around Cape Horn. Jacqueline Briggs Martin is a master storyteller whose lively language and lyrical turns of phrase are matched by a wonderful sense of timing imbedded in each sentence, and in the story as a whole. Linda S. Wingerter's lovely acrylic illustrations, like Martin's storytelling, are richly textured and captured the folk-inspired feel of the narrative. CCBC Categories: Picture Books for School-Aged Children.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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